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Goldwynism, n.

Frequency (in current use): 
Origin: From a proper name, combined with an English element. Etymons: proper name Goldwyn  , -ism suffix.
Etymology: < the name of Samuel Goldwyn (born Schmuel Gelbfisz), Polish-born U.S. film producer (?1879–1974) + -ism suffix.

  A witticism uttered by or regarded as typical of Samuel Goldwyn, esp. one that incorporates contradictory words or statements.Quot. 19361   illustrates the transient earlier form Sam Goldwynism.

[1936   Evening Democrat (Fort Madison, Iowa) 28 Feb.   The newest Sam Goldwynism was originated at a luncheon in New York the other day.]
1936   N.Y. Times 5 July ix. 3   To tell a few tales out of school concerning the latest Mae West didos, or to repeat the newest Goldwynism.
1937   Sat. Evening Post 8 May 82/2   A kind of Goldwyn scholarship has grown up; there are specialists who can detect fake Goldwynisms as an archeologist can spot a phony Greek vase.
1969   Daily Tel. 5 Nov. 17/3   He will be remembered as the master of innumerable Goldwynisms, many of which, he says, were invented by comedians and pinned on him.
2003   Courier Mail (Queensland, Austral.) (Nexis) 20 May 28   Their league and union counterparts who prefer to use another Goldwynism: ‘Include me out’.

1936—2003(Hide quotations)


This entry has been updated (OED Third Edition, December 2018).